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Kinsa

Medical insurance AFTER college graduation

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What are you doing/have you done/plan to do for medical coverage for your newly graduated college kids? 

As of last Saturday (the day they graduated), our kids are no longer covered on our medical insurance.  We can add them on a rider to our insurance (thanks to the ACA), but it will cost $225/mo per kid, plus there's huge copays. I'm wondering if there's any better option?

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10 minutes ago, Kinsa said:

What are you doing/have you done/plan to do for medical coverage for your newly graduated college kids? 

As of last Saturday (the day they graduated), our kids are no longer covered on our medical insurance.  We can add them on a rider to our insurance (thanks to the ACA), but it will cost $225/mo per kid, plus there's huge copays. I'm wondering if there's any better option?

If the have a job that comes with health insurance, they may be able to obtain cheaper coverage through their employer.

My DD will probably decline her employer's insurance and remain on our health insurance, because we still have to pay for dependent coverage for DS, and my employer's group plan charges a flat rate for dependents, so we're lucky.

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Whatever you end up deciding, I'd get them on your insurance (at least temporarily) until you have another option. You do not want something catastrophic to happen while they have no insurance.

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5 minutes ago, regentrude said:

If the have a job that comes with health insurance, they may be able to obtain cheaper coverage through their employer.

My DD will probably decline her employer's insurance and remain on our health insurance, because we still have to pay for dependent coverage for DS, and my employer's group plan charges a flat rate for dependents, so we're lucky.

 

No jobs yet.  That's the issue.

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If they have no known health issues, I would look for a catastrophic policy with high deductible so that they're covered in case of major medical issue. This could be cheaper than adding them to your policy. I would try to safeguard against the worst case scenario and not worry about preventive checkups at the moment. 

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I would also look into student health plans offered through colleges; it may be worth being a part time student just to take advantage of that

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If you have lost insurance, I believe the enrollment period restrictions on healthcare.gov do not apply to you. You can see what is available.

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Exchange, Medicaid, or take a min wage job with insurance. 

My son's eventual job offered low enough rates that we had him take it even though he is on ours b/c child coverage is one price and his sib hasn't graduated.  The wellness options and the low co-pays were well worth his rate.  Same for vision, as an employee he has a computer glasses option that he doesn't have as a dependent. 

Read the Medicaid qual stuff carefully; it may mean not claiming the child as a dependent on taxes.

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Since dd is a nursing major, I expect that she will have a job and insurance immediately upon graduating, but my English/Writing major may take longer to find a job that comes with insurance, and he will remain on ours until he does or until he no longer can. We are fortunate that there is no extra expense for us to keep the kids on our policy through dh's work.

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DS22 is covered by our insurance through DH's work. Which is good. He's had a full time job lined up since last September, but it doesn't start until mid-August.

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4 hours ago, JanetC said:

If you have lost insurance, I believe the enrollment period restrictions on healthcare.gov do not apply to you. You can see what is available.

 

Yes this is true. I would check out the healthcare.gov exchange or your state's healthcare website and see what's would make the most sense for them.

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Insurance seriously ends the day of graduation???? Wow. For some reason, I thought it continued at the normal rate until the kids were 25 years old. Why did I think that? Maybe that's if they continue toward a graduate degree?

$225/mo for relatively healthy young people seems like an awful lot to me!

No advice other than to check out the healthcare.gov link and hopefully there are better options for you there!

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I would also check with an Independent  Health Insurance Sales person.  You may not have one of those in your immediate neighborhood, but can probably contact one in Lubbock or El Paso or some other "nearby" city.   Or, have your DS check that out where they are. It may be that they can get better coverage (possibly for less money) by not purchasing on the exchange. 

A catastrophic policy would be better than nothing, and would cover them in the event of a horrible accident or illness.

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Karen I wonder if your DS ask at the schools they are in, in the   Insurance (?) Department, if they can suggest a way to continue health insurance coverage?

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9 hours ago, easypeasy said:

Insurance seriously ends the day of graduation???? Wow. For some reason, I thought it continued at the normal rate until the kids were 25 years old. Why did I think that? Maybe that's if they continue toward a graduate degree?

 

This is my understanding as well. My 23 yr old is still covered fully through our insurance and he's currently taking a break in his schooling. As far as I know, he's covered until 25. Perhaps that is specific to each policy?

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Per the ACA kids can stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in college or not. But I suppose dependent coverage (and availability thereof) varies from employer to employer. 

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We kept our son on ours. It didn’t change the cost, though, because we pay the family rate. (DH has really good benefits, which I realize not everyone has.) He does have a full time job with his own insurance, but we keep him on ours as his secondary insurance. Why? I guess because it doesn’t cost us anything. 

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We're sort-of in this same boat, and I'm maybe as much as a baby step ahead of you in the research -- DS#1 turns 26 this year (so aging out of our family health plan), but has gone back to school full time and is only working part time (so limited funds to pay for both school AND health insurance). We're investigating low-cost ($30-100/month depending on the policy coverage) and short-term (30 days to 3 months) health insurance policies as protection against catastrophic injury or illness, until he transfers from the CC to the 4-year university next spring and is eligible for student health insurance.

Kinsa, these are the only options I can think of:

  • keep your DS on your family policy and ask him to pay the premium by working part time while he searches for his career job
  • your DS (or you & DH) pay for a low-cost, short-term policy to cover DS until he lands a job and benefits
  • accept high risk (and possible financial ruin for you & DH, as you'd likely give everything to help your DC with catastrophe health recovery), and go without health insurance until your DS lands a job and benefits

However, going without health insurance for longer than 3 months in 2018 will cost a tax penalty on next year's tax return (see details in this article at Obama Care website).

United Healthcare has some low-cost/short-term policies. Be sure to carefully go over just what is/is not covered, as these plans are skimpy -- see this article). Also, I now can't find which web article I read it in, but they commend against buying these types of policies over the phone or online to avoid scams -- rather, go to a state-licensed broker or agent. And, the article said you should never be charged a fee for signing up.

Your DS might qualify for Medicaid coverage (until he lands a job with benefits), as earning under $12,000/year is one of the qualifiers. (find out at HealthCare.gov). Be SURE to go for the "silver" plan as your initial choice when FIRST getting your own insurance, as that qualifies for additional government subsidies to help pay for insurance -- the "bronze" plan only has a basic gov't subsidy. (for more details, see these articles: Financial Samuri: "Subsidy Amounts By Income for the Affordable Care Act", and Health Insurance.org: "I earn just $22,000 a year. How Can I Afford the Out-of-Picket Costs of Health Insurance")

This article at The Simple Dollar website, "Affordable Health Insurance Options in 2018", had some helpful questions and tidbits of info to consider when trying to figure out what to do about health insurance.

Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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To answer a few questions, we are covered by Tricare, and Tricare covers dependents only.  As soon as they graduated college,  they were no longer considered dependents of us.  (Their military dependent ID cards expired on the day of graduation also.)

Per the ACA, we can buy rider policies to keep them covered on our Tricare plan until they turn 26. But at $225/mo per kid, that's going to be bit of a burden. 

Also, they don't qualify for Medicaid as long as we are claiming them on our taxes,  which we will be doing this year since they were in school for half the year (and will still be supported by us until they find jobs).

So we are thinking of going for the catastrophic coverage plan until they can get their own policies.  LoriD, I'll look into the United Healthcare and see what I can find.  Thanks!

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18 minutes ago, Kinsa said:

 LoriD, I'll look into the United Healthcare and see what I can find.  Thanks!

Let me know what you uncover, please -- I'm thinking we're heading in that direction too, as a short term stop-gap until he's eligible for the university's student health plan...

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Are the kids members of any professional associations, clubs, etc... that offer group insurance rates?  If not, I would consider a health share.

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I talked to a representative of MediShare last evening.  The computer gave me a quote of $158/mo, but on the phone they said $175/mo. And there's a lot they don't cover,  like preventative care. 

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6 minutes ago, Kinsa said:

I talked to a representative of MediShare last evening.  The computer gave me a quote of $158/mo, but on the phone they said $175/mo. And there's a lot they don't cover,  like preventative care. 

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but $225/month for a comprehensive policy is actually a good deal.  If you take advantage of preventive care, that's easily $3-400 of the $2500 you would pay in premiums; $2000 for the insurance component is not unreasonable.

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13 hours ago, Kinsa said:

To answer a few questions, we are covered by Tricare, and Tricare covers dependents only.  As soon as they graduated college,  they were no longer considered dependents of us.  (Their military dependent ID cards expired on the day of graduation also.)

Per the ACA, we can buy rider policies to keep them covered on our Tricare plan until they turn 26. But at $225/mo per kid, that's going to be bit of a burden. 

Also, they don't qualify for Medicaid as long as we are claiming them on our taxes,  which we will be doing this year since they were in school for half the year (and will still be supported by us until they find jobs).

So we are thinking of going for the catastrophic coverage plan until they can get their own policies.  LoriD, I'll look into the United Healthcare and see what I can find.  Thanks!

 

Doesn't Tricare have an overall family plan?  That's what I remember, but it's been years.  We didn't get charged per child.  It was either a single plan or a family plan.  And there can be no differences for a child of 12 vs. a child of 23 - that's also in the federal law.  They must be treated equally.  If your kids of under 18 are covered under the family plan/rate, then so are the kids under 26.  No separate plan needed.  See link above - it answers a lot of questions.

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I am guessing TriCare is trying to keep family coverage affordable for the lower enlisted and has set premiums for young adults differently than children because of that.  Just a guess though, perhaps the congressman will have the scoop.  

It seems there are two options thru TriCare, the Young Adult and the  Continued Health Care.  The price quoted above is less than what we pay with nongovernmental employer based insurance.

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FWIW, we have Tricare as well, and put our  2017 college grad on it after she graduated for the few months until she married and got on her husband's insurance. Hers was $300+/month, though I don't recall copays (we pay OOP for her mental health care though, and I'm not sure that she got much else done in the way of care during that time.) One thing we didn't realize was that the dental was a separate deal, so make sure you pay attention to that detail if you go Tricare.

I suppose she could have done the exchange, but that seems to be a much worse deal as far as expense and coverage than Tricare.

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Yeah, for some reason Tricare is in a class of its own.  Each of my kids' campus health services accepted *ALL* health insurances... except Tricare. ?

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1 hour ago, Kinsa said:

Yeah, for some reason Tricare is in a class of its own.  Each of my kids' campus health services accepted *ALL* health insurances... except Tricare. ?

 Ditto here. And my current student's college requires her to have an entirely different insurance plan as a requirement of enrollment. $$$$$$

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Ds has been on mine but now can go on sort of "Tricare lite" until he goes active duty. He pays for it. As we did the conservation easement this year, I have to pay back the ACA subsidy (we've gotten it for years) to the tune of $25,000! ACA is ANYTHING but affordable. They just denied my stent surgery, so I owe yet ANOTHER $4000! And dd's wisdom teeth surgery from a year ago just denied the ACA on dd. We fought the bill down to $600, but of course we have a pesky little brain scan coming up for dh in a week. He had to have one 5 weeks ago and they found something. 

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11 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I'm speechless, Margaret. What a financial hit.

 

Nothing we can do but pay it. When Obamacare came in, our premiums quadrupled. And we had to pay it. We finally got the subsidy, but now have to pay it back. My eye surgeries have topped $12,000 (yes, our portion) and I may have to have one more. Dh's cancer meds are covered until this winter as he was on a clinical study. However, it failed, so he goes off this winter when his contract runs out. 

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We are planning to pay the premium when dd graduates and until she gets a health insurance that covers her very expensive medications.  $225 or 250 a month seems like a bargain to me when just one of her medications costs 13,000 a month on the open market (Tricare pays 5000 a month).  Her entire career path will be predicated by the insurance coverage. Oh and if anyone wants to argue for universal care, she experienced that in NZ where that medication wasn't covered and she nearly died.

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Our daughter has multiple very serious health issues. She just graduated from college. Her grad school does have what looks like decent coverage, but we have decided to just keep her on ours -- we are nervous that we may have problems adding her back on once she graduates from grad school, and she is a person who need good health insurance 100% of the time.

Thankfully we can afford it, but we are electing to just pay the $$$ and keep her covered on ours until she turns 26.

 

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I hope you can come up with an option than is better than we found for our son. He aged out of our policy, but lives in a state that does not have Medicaid expansion. He is a full time student, but at a community college that has no student insurance to offer. His only options were (1) no insurance (2) drop out of school to try to find a job with insurance (3) a very expensive catastrophic plan (doesn't make enough to get a subsidy) with an deductible that is over $7K or (4) more affordable short term (90 day?) not-so-great coverage that does not cover preexisting conditions. States with the Medicaid expansion are not as awful.

No good options, here ?

 

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On 5/14/2018 at 6:46 PM, TravelingChris said:

We are planning to pay the premium when dd graduates and until she gets a health insurance that covers her very expensive medications.  $225 or 250 a month seems like a bargain to me when just one of her medications costs 13,000 a month on the open market (Tricare pays 5000 a month).  Her entire career path will be predicated by the insurance coverage. Oh and if anyone wants to argue for universal care, she experienced that in NZ where that medication wasn't covered and she nearly died.

I’m very sorry for your daughter’s experience in NZ, but just because universal healthcare in one country doesn’t cover something, it doesn’t mean it won’t be covered in another country. And many countries with universal healthcare have top up insurance that can be purchased or provided by employers to supplement the universal healthcare coverage. Everyone has the basics covered and then people can pay cash or use extra insurance on top of that if they desire to go beyond the basic coverage.

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On 5/15/2018 at 11:45 PM, Frances said:

I’m very sorry for your daughter’s experience in NZ, but just because universal healthcare in one country doesn’t cover something, it doesn’t mean it won’t be covered in another country. And many countries with universal healthcare have top up insurance that can be purchased or provided by employers to supplement the universal healthcare coverage. Everyone has the basics covered and then people can pay cash or use extra insurance on top of that if they desire to go beyond the basic coverage.

And if they can’t afford or are disqualified from the additional coverage? It doesn’t sound like the end result would be all that different from our current messed up system.

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1 hour ago, scholastica said:

And if they can’t afford or are disqualified from the additional coverage? It doesn’t sound like the end result would be all that different from our current messed up system.

I don’t know that there is anyway to provide everyone with all of the healthcare they need and desire, unless there is an endless pot of money. Of course there are ways to make the system more efficient and cheaper, but ultimately there is always going to be a group of people who will never be able to remotely pay for all of the healthcare they need. So someone, whether taxpayers and/or others using the same insurance, have to make up the difference. Or the people have to be left without the healthcare they need.

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On 5/10/2018 at 8:52 PM, plansrme said:

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but $225/month for a comprehensive policy is actually a good deal.  

 

 

I was going to post the same thing! It's a lot of money per month to add to the family budget, but it could be covered by each kid with even a part-time job, and it's a good deal for insurance.  If they will be living at home while looking for a job, $225/month is very cheap rent. 

I have a certain level of reluctance regarding catastrophic insurance when other choices are available. Every young adult I know or have ever known would put off seeking medical care if money was tight and they were paying out-of-pocket, which can turn a minor healthcare issue into a major one. Honestly, this holds true for most people, but particularly for those who are young, poor, and feeling bullet-proof. 

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